By booking Elon Musk, Saturday Night Live is dabbling in a dangerous cult of personality

By booking Elon Musk, Saturday Night Live is dabbling in a dangerous cult of personality

Last fall, Saturday Night Live became one of the few late-night shows to resume business as usual in the middle of a global pandemic. While the output of the show’s 46th season has been otherwise typical—hits and misses, attention-grabbing but bad political sketches, comforting familiar faces mixed with promising newcomers—the host bookings carry hints of disruption. With plenty of big promotional cycles on hold and stars presumably (and understandably) reluctant to commit to a mid-COVID-19 week in a New York City skyscraper, the show has leaned on a blend of stand-up comics (Bill Burr, Dave Chappelle), alumni (Kristen Wiig, Maya Rudolph), or people who are both (Chris Rock, John Mulaney), along with recent breakouts like Dan Levy and Regé-Jean Page. The show’s April 2021 episodes looked a bit more like the usual SNL, with high-profile Oscar contenders Carey Mulligan and Daniel Kaluuya. But on May 8, Elon Musk is coming to crash that party. For those blissfully unexposed to his cult, Elon Musk is an entrepreneur and engineer known for his work with electric car manufacturer Tesla and private aerospace …
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